Through the centuries, what has inspired great art? A key catalyst has been competition – where the brilliance of a grand master drew forth the very best artwork from his challengers. In Great Artistic Rivals, contrasting both artistic technique and temperament, each session will highlight the rivalry between the two towering giants of their age, beginning first with the youthful Raphael going up against Michelangelo in Rome of the High Renaissance and then Tintoretto, “il Furioso”, challenging Titian’s preeminence in the Venetian Renaissance. For the Baroque period, we’ll be pitting Rubens’ sensual virtuosity against Caravaggio’s dramatic intensity. Shifting northward to the Netherlands, our focus will turn to the contrast between Vermeer’s poignant stillness and Rembrandt’s vibrant characterizations. The course will culminate in the 19th century, with the dashing Romantic, Eugene Delacroix, tilting lances with Jean-Auguste Ingres, the formidable master of the French Academy and then with the friendly Impressionistic competition between Claude Monet and Edgar Degas. Class sessions will be a creative blend of lecture, visuals and discussion, as we conduct side-by-side considerations of the life and work of some of the most accomplished artists in the Western tradition.